With all of the data we keep on our smartphones these days, it’s no surprise that devices like the iPhone have become increasingly useful pieces of evidence in police investigations. After all, poring through a suspect’s smartphone can often give investigators insight into pertinent contacts, accomplices, along with information as to how certain crimes were planned and carried out.
In light of that, a New York woman named Juelle L. Grant — whose iPhone X was taken in as a piece of evidence in a drive-by shooting investigation — recently managed to frustrate law enforcement authorities by wiping her device remotely. While iOS users have long been able to wipe their devices, this functionality was obviously designed for folks with lost or stolen phones. As it turns out, it can also be used to destroy potentially incriminating evidence.
Originally brought to light by The Daily Gazette, the report details how Grant is now being charged with a handful of crimes, including tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.
“Grant is accused of driving the shooting suspect from the scene shortly after 4:30 p.m. that day and concealing the shooter’s identity,” the report reads. “In driving the suspect from the scene, she also helped remove the gun used in the crime, police allege.”
For what it’s worth, Grant’s attorney claims that she did no such thing, even going so far as to say that she’s not technologically savvy and would have no idea how to do it even if she wanted to.
One thing that is for certain is that stories like this will inevitably become more commonplace as criminals become more savvy. Indeed, there’s no indication that the cat-and-mouse game between law enforcement and criminals will die down anytime soon. In what is perhaps the most well-known case of law enforcement trying to glean evidence from an iPhone, the FBI a few years back got into a widely publicized legal tussle with Apple as it sought to access a locked iPhone 5c belonging to one of the terrorists involved in the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack.